In 2017, a total of 9,084 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in Germany. That's around 75 percent less than the year before. Most applications were filed by refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.
According to the German Ministry for Family Affairs, nearly 25,000 asylum applications by unaccompanied minors were processed and decided upon in 2017. The overall protection rate equaled around 78 percent, meaning that 78 percent of applicants were granted either full asylum, refugee protection, subsidiary protection or were assigned a ban on deportation. Syrian refugees had the highest protection rate of 97.9 percent. Afghan minors received a protection rate of 69.3 percent and Iraqi minors of 86 percent.
The editorial network Germany (an association of regional German media outlets) said that in the first half of 2017, 86 minors were turned away at German borders. There were no deportations of underage rejected asylum seekers.
If the country of origin cannot guarantee the handover to family members or find an adequate reception center for the minor, Germany may not return an asylum seeker, even if his application was denied.
Reassessment of asylum claim
Normally, if a person is granted refugee status in Germany, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) reassesses the case after three years to determine if conditions which led the refugee to flee their country have changed. For example, if a person fled a region of conflict in 2015 and was granted protection in Germany that same year, the case is up for reassessment in 2018. The authorities will check if the home country is still unsafe to return to. The reassessment applies to both unaccompanied minors as well as adult refugees.
The BAMF is currently debating over whether to extend that time period to five years, meaning that the reassessment would be applied only after five years instead of three. The argument is that "oftentimes, the situation in the country of origin has not changed after three years," a BAMF spokesperson told German news agency dpa.